NU Online News Service, June 10, 1:32 p.m. – MedUnite Inc., San Diego, a health data communications consortium, says eight health insurers, managed care companies and health plan administrators have agreed to use its electronic transaction communications services.

The eight companies are Acordia National, Charleston, W.V., a unit of Acordia Inc; Bluegrass Family Health, Lexington, Ky.; Boston Medical Center HealthNet Plan, Boston; North American Administrators Inc., Amherst, N.Y.; PPOM L.L.C., Southfield, Mich., a unit of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Michigan; RBMS L.L.C., Anchorage, Alaska; and Great-West Life & Annuity Insurance Company, Greenwood Village, Colo., a unit of Power Financial Corp.

MedUnite, a company founded by seven large health insurers, is trying to encourage more doctors to communicate with insurers electronically, by setting up a Web-based system that can transmit claims and handle many other transactions, such as requests for information about whether patients actually have insurance.

MedUnite reports that it is already processing about 100 million transactions per year.

The seven founding carriers are Aetna Inc., Hartford; Anthem Inc., Indianapolis; CIGNA Corp., Philadelphia; Health Net Inc., Woodland Hills, Calif.; Oxford Health Networks Inc., Trumbull, Conn.; PacifiCare Health Systems Inc., Santa Ana, Calif.; and WellPoint Health Networks Inc., Thousand Oaks, Calif.